Does modulation of selective attention to features reflect enhancement or suppression of neural activity?
Tarbi, Elise C.
Haring, Anna E.
Holcomb, Phillip J.
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CitationDaffner, Kirk R., Tatyana Y. Zhuravleva, Xue Sun, Elise C. Tarbi, Anna E. Haring, Dorene M. Rentz, and Phillip J. Holcomb. 2012. “Does Modulation of Selective Attention to Features Reflect Enhancement or Suppression of Neural Activity?” Biological Psychology 89 (2) (February): 398–407. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.12.002.
AbstractNumerous studies have demonstrated that selective attention to color is associated with a larger neural response under attend than ignore conditions, but have not addressed whether this difference reflects enhanced activity under attend or suppressed activity under ignore. In this study, a color-neutral condition was included, which presented stimuli physically identical to those under attend and ignore conditions, but in which color was not task relevant. Attention to color did not modulate the early sensory-evoked P1 and N1 components. Traditional ERP markers of early selection (the anterior Selection Positivity and posterior Selection Negativity) did not differ between the attend and neutral conditions, arguing against a mechanism of enhanced activity. However, there were markedly reduced responses under the ignore relative to the neutral condition, consistent with the view that early selection mechanisms reflect suppression of neural activity under the ignore condition.
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